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01-20-09, 06:27 PM #1
Bush Family to Leave Many Treasured Items Inside White House (unlike the Clintons)
Unlike Bill and Hillary Clinton, George and Laura Bush will take few treasured mementos with them from their years at the White House.
When the Clintons left the White House in January 2001, the former first couple took with them more than 50 gifts -- including a chandelier, flatware, and paintings -- valued at nearly $200,000.
The Bushes, however, borrowed from furnishings that already existed within the White House collection, said Sally McDonough, press secretary to Laura Bush.
"Mrs. Bush -- having the experience of being at the White House when her father-in-law was president -- knew how many beautiful things she had to choose from to furnish the residence. And she will go back to Texas with only those items that belong to her," McDonough told FOXNews.com.
Bush's official state china service -- a Lenox gilt-edged style with a green basket weave border valued at $492,798 -- is a valued item that will remain at the White House.
The 320 14-piece place settings were purchased with privately raised funds through the White House Historical Association Acquisition Trust.
Two custom rugs, including one in the Diplomatic Reception Room with emblems from all 50 state flags, will also stay behind in the Executive Mansion.
But the first family can opt to place a multitude of personal gifts they have received in the presidential museum.
"They can request any of those items to be part of the library," McDonough said. "But the library won't open for years, so a lot of those decisions haven't been made yet."
But a few cherished items will be taken back to the Bush home in Crawford, Texas.
One of the few furnishings Laura Bush brought to the White House eight years ago was a chest of drawers that had belonged to her husband's grandmother.
"She will bring that back to Texas with her," McDonough said. "It's very sentimental to them."
The Bushes will also take home stacks of books they have acquired over the last eight years.
And then there are the first lady's clothes -- lots of them.
"The one thing she does joke about is that she certainly will take many clothes with her because obviously she has a much more formal wardrobe than when she came," McDonough said.
"But those will go into the back of the closet," she quipped, saying the first lady looks forward to sporting more "casual wear."
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